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Wednesday, 24 September 2014

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Firefighters deal with blaze at Cumbrian park pavilion

A park pavilion said to date back nearly a century has been destroyed after a suspected suspicious fire that ripped through it and sparked flames thought to be 100ft tall.

Firefighters had to put a 100-metre cordon in place due to fears over gas canisters in a cafe area of the building in Castle Park, Penrith, last night.

Police are today carrying out an investigation into the blaze at the pavilion, which was said to be used by a bowling club. It is in the same park that houses Penrith Castle.

It happened at about 7.40pm and led to a firefighting operation lasting nearly four hours involving five engines from as far away as Carlisle and Shap.

Watch manager Bruce Wilson said he could see the flames as he approached the blaze from the M6.

“I was coming up the motorway and the flames were up above the castle,” he told the News & Star.

“The flames must have been 100ft high.”

Firefighters who were first on the scene found the blaze was “well alight” and called for reinforcements.

Police were called to make sure people who gathered to watch were kept to a safe distance.

The fire service said the last engine returned after 11pm. Crews also came from Appleby and Penrith.

A Cumbrian Constabulary spokeswoman said: “Police are appealing for witnesses to contact them.”

Call officers on 101.

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